Venomous Sea Snake Found Off California—How'd It Get There?
The yellow-bellied sea snake usually roams the world's tropical oceans.
The yellow-bellied sea snake has the widest range of any snake on the planet. And if the last few years are any indication, its range might be getting even bigger—thanks to climate change.
In January, one of the highly venomous, brightly colored serpents washed up on southern California's Newport Beach—only the fifth such snake ever recorded in the region.
Native to the world's tropical oceans, the reptile was several hundred miles north of its typical range, from southern Mexico north to Baja California. It follows three others that washed up in the winters of 2015 and 2016, and a fourth from 1972.
The previous four snakes all had something in common: They washed up during El Niño